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Program Information
 Building Bridges 
 Weekly Program
 Ken Nash and Mimi Rosenberg  
 See Notes.
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How the Poultry Industrys Delayed COVID-19 Response Is Killing Americas Essential Workers
Edgar Fields, former professional football defensive tackle who played for the Atlanta Falcons and the Detroit Lions and now having committed his life to worker organizing in the deep south is Southeast Council President of the Retail, Wholesale, and Department Store Union (RWDSU), which represents 100,000 members throughout the United States.

Elose Willis served as Secretary of Local 938, representing poultry workers at Tyson in Camilla, Georgia. She was a proud and committed member of the RWDSU and worked at the facility for 35 years. She passed away due to COVID-19 on April 1, 2020.
Mary Holt was a member of Local 938 of the RWDSU Southeast Council and worked the poultry line at the Camilla, Georgia Tyson plant for 27 years. She was a member of the RWDSU Southeast Council. She passed away April 6 from COVID-19 complications.
Annie Grant was a member of Local 938 of the RWDSU Southeast Council. For 13 years, Ms. Grant worked at the Tyson plant in Camilla, Georgia. She passed on April 7 due to the coronavirus. Grant worked tirelessly at Tysons poultry plant in Camilla, to provide a future for her children.

Annie Grant, 55, had been feverish for two nights. Worried about the coronavirus outbreak, her adult children had begged her to stay home rather than return to the frigid poultry plant in Georgia where she had been on the packing line for nearly 15 years.

But on the third day she was ill, they got a text from their mother. They told me I had to come back to work, it said.

Ms. Grant ended up returning home, and died in a hospital after fighting for her life on a ventilator for more than a week. Two other workers at the Tyson Foods poultry plant where she worked in Camilla, Ga., have also died in recent days.

My mom said the guy at the plant said they had to work to feed America. But my mom was sick, said one of Ms. Grants sons, Willie Martin, 34, a teacher in South Carolina. He said he watched on his phone as his mother took her last breath.

At the Tyson facility in Camilla, Georgia, where the RWDSU represents 2,000 members, three members have died from the virus and many are sick or in quarantine. Tyson employs a largely Black workforce that commutes from Albany, Georgia and surrounding cities to the facility daily. Workers debone chickens elbow to elbow with no access to masks. They work at speeds of upwards of 80 chickens per minute, while upper management, largely white and clad in protective gear, oversees production.
produced by Ken Nash and Mimi Rosenberg
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00:27:01 English 2020-04-20
 New York City
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